photography · travel

look beneath

“At night, I open the window and ask the moon to come and press its face against mine. Breathe into me. Close the language-door and open the love-window. The moon won't use the door, only the window.” -Rumi

“We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are, when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed, and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time. “- Mark Nepo


dad’s jeerey vaaley aloo (spicy Indian potatoes with cumin)

unnamedMy dad makes few things as good as this dish and he agreed to share his secret recipe with me. I am thankful to him for this and hope you all enjoy making this amazing dish in your home!


4 garlic cloves grated

3-4 tbsp ginger grated

8 medium sized white potatoes boiled

1 large tomato chopped

2 tbsp cumin seeds (jeera)

1 tsp red chilli powder

1 tbsp curry powder

1/2 tsp pomegranate (anardana) powder

1/4 tsp garam masala

1 tsp tumeric

salt to taste


Heat oil in a medium sized saucepan and add grated ginger and garlic. Saute until browned.

Add cumin seeds and cook until fragrant and a bit browned.

Add tomatoes until and cook for a few minutes until completely softened and until they look “melted” in.

Add all spices and a few tbsp of water. Cook for 2-3 min.

Then add boiled potatoes after crushing them WITH HANDS. Do not chop them with a knife! This will not give the dish the right texture.

Simmer for 2-3 min before adding 2-3 cups of water.

Simmer uncovered for 5-10 minutes.

Serve hot with roti, naan, parantha, or basmati rice!



beauty · food · good reads · music · paper crafts · photography · travel

chutney is 10 months old!

Chutney continues to be the apple of our eyes- we are obsessed with him every single day. He is kind, pure, sensitive, smart, and so silly.

We love you so much Chutney- thanks for being such a good boy!!

in bed on a quiet saturday morning- "do I have to get up?"
in bed on a quiet saturday morning- “do I have to get up?
ok fine I'll get up...actually nope just changed my mind...
ok fine I’ll get up…actually nope just changed my mind…
out for a walk in his super stylish quilted jacket and with his pink wubba toy
fun at the dog run!
fun at the dog run!


sitting on the ottoman
sitting on the ottoman
lap nap

IMG_2835 IMG_2850


Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask review

Since I love using raw manuka honey on my face so much, I decided to try out this mask. Manuka honey does wonders for blemishes and is great to use if you have acne prone skin in order to keep acne at bay!


I was eager to try out this mask because in addition to manuka honey, it also contains Pohutukawa extract. Pohutukawa is known to tone and moisturize the skin, and contains powerful astringent qualities to soften skin and promote cell regeneration.


This mask has a rich, creamy consistency and I like that it comes in a tube! It takes up less storage space:) Plus it smells like honey and oranges!



It applies like a cream and feels buttery soft- that’s exactly how it left my face after rinsing it! …soft as butter:)

This is definitely a great mask if you are looking for deep hydration and something that will leave your face extremely soft, clear and hydrated. I am very happy with it and plan to use it once a week.

This mask can be purchased here, here and here. 


Which masks are your favorite?? Have you tried manuka honey?

food · travel

mushroom risotto with peas


IMG_8761 IMG_8763


The first time I ever tasted risotto was in Turks and Caicos and was because it was one of the few things on the resort’s menu that was vegetarian. It was described on the menu as a rice dish, so being a die hard rice lover, (my husband always teases me about how much rice I can consume during any given meal) I thought I would give it a try.  Once I took that first creamy bite, there was no coming back.. I felt like I was in a different place– hard to imagine feeling so dreamy when you’re already on an exotic little island with your dream guy. My love affair with risotto had officially begun, and now even though I don’t order it at restaurants out of fear of it not living up to that perfectly prepared risotto on a tropical island, I love to make it at home. Some people don’t like to make risotto because of the “slaving over the stove” constantly stirring the stock ladle-fuls at a time into the arborio rice. I actually find this to be very relaxing and enjoy it after a long day at work. I especially love to make it when it’s cold out!

recipe adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis


8 cups canned low sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onions
10 ounces baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or short-grain white rice
2/3 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Melt the butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic. Saute until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and let it toast for a few minutes. Add the wine; cook until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of broth; simmer over medium-low heat until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy, adding more broth by cupfuls and stirring often, about 28 minutes (the rice will absorb 6 to 8 cups of broth). Stir in the peas. Mix in the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Note: the original recipe calls for the broth to be heated first. I do not do this. The broth I add is at room temperature and I do not think this change compromises the dish.



Diorskin Nude Air Serum SPF 20 review

I have a new foundation love! I went into sephora the other day and got a sample of this and today I just had to go and buy it because I couldn’t be without it! Yes it’s that good:) It really does feel like a breath of fresh air for my skin!!

shade medium biege (030)
shade medium biege (030)


This foundation is super light and gives a weightless velvety finish, while providing buildable coverage. It has a very thin liquid consistency which I like to apply with my fingers. Once you put it on, it dries to a sheer powder finish. I like how the finish is not that of a flat matte-it’s oh so flattering and looks so much like my actual skin. It does not feel like I have makeup on and I just feel like I have naturally beautiful, radiant skin!

This one is a must for any skin type, especially if you are looking for a foundation that you can wear daily. The best part is the SPF 20, in case you forget to put on your daytime moisturizer!

This foundation also comes in powder form, which I may consider getting for the summer. So far I have been very happy with this powder foundation so we will see!

The Diorskin nude Air serum SPF 20 can be purchased here and here.


This photo was taken 8 hours after application.


chilli paneer

This is hearty and spicy dish that I like to make when I have a paneer craving! It’s super easy and can be made as mild or spicy as you would like by varying the amount of green chillies.



one bock of paneer cubed and shallow fried

one plum tomato chopped

one red onion chopped

1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp garam masala

2-3 green chillies chopped

1 tbsp mixed pickle (I used mixed mango pickle)

salt & pepper to taste


Saute all the spices in oil along with onions and ginger garlic paste. You can add a splash of water if needed.

Then add the tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the pickle and cook for an additional minute.

Add the paneer cubes and 1/2 cup of water.

Cook for 2- 3 minutes until water begins to reduce.

Serve hot with naan, roti or rice!


my favorite cleansers

Before I started taking my skincare seriously, I used to think that a cleanser was just a cleanser- it just cleans my face so how important could it really be? It turns out that the cleaning step is critical and that’s why it’s so important to find the right cleanser for your specific needs and our ever-changing skin. I wanted to share which cleansers work best for me and that each one has a specific purpose. depending on what my skin needs and the time of the year. I find that using a separate cleanser for am and pm works best for me since my skin is different when I first wake up versus when I’ve been out for 8 to 10 hours.

So here are my favorites and why I like them:

left to right: perricone md hypoallergenic gentle cleaner, peter thomas roth anti aging cleansing gel, aveda botanical kinetics creme cleanser, clinique liquid facial soap

Perricone MD Hypoallergenic Gentle Cleanser:


This is very gentle yet effective and has no fragrance. I can use this am and pm since it does a great job at removing all my makeup as well as giving me a nice canvas with which to apply makeup in the mornings. Best of all, it does not cause any skin irritation or tightness. It is very soothing due to the olive oil and makes my skin soft as a baby’s bottom! This can be used any time of the year, day or night. Best overall cleanser hands down.

Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel:


This is an excellent cleansing gel if you are looking for a deep cleanse. Glycolic and salicylic acid help to brighten and clarify the skin, while fruit extracts help to soothe troubled skin. I like to use this one or two nights a week, when I am looking for a deep cleanse. I would not use this on a daily basis.

botanical kinetics purifying creme cleanser:


I love love love this cleanser for winter mornings. It is extremely soothing, smells smoothing, and leaves my skin soft and supple. Now that the weather is (hopefully) getting warmer, I have put this one away, but will be using it next winter! It can also be used if your skin is feeling sensitive or is acting up- this is super gentle and soothes as a cream would. This does not lather so don’t expect bubbles!

CLINIQUE Liquid Facial Soap:


I started using this when my skin was really acting up a few months ago and it really calmed it down. This is great cleanser if you’re looking for something “basic”, fragrance free and without any bells and whistles. I have never found any clinique products to be harsh or irritating and this is no different. I reach for this for pm use more than am, since it can leave my skin feeling a bit tight, which is fine at night since I like to use a rich moisturizer. It comes in a few types- mild for very dry to dry skin, mild for dry combination, combination oily to oily. This is nice because you can switch it up depending on the season, your skin’s needs, etc.

I hope this was helpful in helping you choose the right cleanser for your skin!


bhindi (spicy Indian okra)

This is my husband’s all time favorite Indian dish- and I love to make it for him:)

this dish & recipe are dedicated to my mom, who I’ve watched make this an endless number of times with such ease, and to my sister who happens to love it too:)



3-4 cups Indian okra cut into slices/ rounds

1 chopped large red onion

1 chopped plum tomato

2-3 minced garlic cloves & 1 tbsp grated ginger OR 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

1 tsp tumeric

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp salt

2-3 tbsp olive oil

fresh coriander leaves


Heat olive oil in medium to large frying pan.

Add okra and sauté for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add chopped onion and all spices.

Cook for 15-20 min on medium-high heat until okra and onions begin to soften. Do not cover with lid.

During the last 5 minutes add chopped tomatoes.

Garnish with fresh coriander (optional).

Serve hot with naan or roti. This pairs nicely with any daal, especially yellow moong (recipe of which will be posted soon!).